When my alarm goes off, the sky glows with a blue hint of the morning sunrise. Turning off my alarm, I moan internally, wishing for just another hour of sleep, but I roll out of bed anyway. The morning run is part of me now. It is important to the person I am and the person I am becoming. I dress in my old blue t-shirt and exercise pants and tell myself that I must buy better running clothes soon, but not yet. I’ll wait a little until I’m thinner, and faster. By the time my teeth are brushed and I’ve had a drink of water, I’m more awake and ready to head out. Stepping out the door, I realize just how cold 40 degrees is and I’m tempted to turn around and go back in. The air is cold and still smells of last night’s rain. I convince myself that by the time I’ve gone a couple of blocks, I’ll be warm again and that when I get home there will be the triumph of completing one more run. I can do it. I am stronger than my bed and the cold weather and I’ll be back at it again tomorrow.
The Deck Swing at Grandma’s House
Visiting Grandma in the summer, my brother and I would sit on the green-cushioned swing hung from the roof of the covered deck and eat banana, cherry, and root beer popsicles while we watched the hostas grow on the north side of her house. We never sat on the two Adirondack chairs. When you are eight or six years-old, those chairs just make you bend into a “V” shape and soon you lose circulation to your feet. Right about that time is when you suddenly realize that not only are your feet numb, you are in a nearly impossible angle from which to extricate yourself. Only at that age, we just called it “being stuck”. Sometimes we didn’t sit on the swing either. We would kneel on it backwards and peer into the garage window and see what we could see in there. It was full of Grandpa’s old stuff. We never knew Grandpa, but we saw a lot of his stuff. We saw old gloves and tool boxes, fertilizer and old fishing tackle boxes, and old calendars with pictures of girls in short shorts and button shirts tied just below their chests. Interesting as it was to us, somehow we knew that place was off limits to us and we never went in there to explore on our own. The few times we followed Grandma in, it was as though we were entering a dust-laden sanctuary. We could feel old memories hanging on the floating motes in the air around us and we did not want to disrupt them. So most of the time, we contented ourselves with peering through the dirty window and wondering why Grandpa wanted girlie calendars when he had our beautiful Grandma to look at. After we finished our popsicles and were a little cooled off by the shade, we would put our sticks in the trash cans by the garage door and run back to play in Grandma’s hidden garden.